The dating of environmental archives remains one of the major challenges in Earth Sciences. Different dating-methods are used for e.g., ice cores, sediments, speleothems and tree-rings, each having their specific challenges and uncertainties, some of which may be systematic. This limits our ability to compare paleoenvironmental records and sites and infer temporal-spatial dynamics of past changes at high precision.
Cosmogenic radionuclides (e.g., 10Be, 14C) offer an opportunity to overcome some of these challenges. Their atmospheric production rates vary globally in response to changes in the galactic cosmic ray flux, driven by variable solar and geomagnetic shielding. This provides a cosmic signal that can be used to synchronize records from different deposits and regions to one common timescale and allows new insights into paleoclimate dynamics.
In this talk, I will present our results of applying this approach to ice cores, tree-rings, speleothems and sediments and show the possibilities and caveats. I will discuss the resulting implications for the dating of these archives and their consequences in the context of paleoclimatology.